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HomeNewsArchivesLACK OF WORKER’S COMP CHECKS STILL A PROBLEM

LACK OF WORKER’S COMP CHECKS STILL A PROBLEM

Two weeks after the Senate approved a bill that would fund worker’s compensation payments in the territory, Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole said he has being fielding complaints from people who still haven’t been paid.
At the special session, Labor Commissioner Sonia Jacobs-Dow and Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull openly disagreed on why payments hadn’t been processed in a timely fashion. In a letter to Gov. Charles Turnbull Tuesday, Cole said a "communication breakdown" is continuing between the two departments.
"The commissioner of Finance is saying the Department of Labor didn’t submit the documents and the Department of Labor is saying the opposite," Cole said on WSTX radio. "It still seems the stalemate is still going on."
And that is causing disgruntled constituents to call Cole’s office looking for their compensation payments. He said some people haven’t received checks for two or three months. One caller was in a nursing home in Florida getting charged extra for late payment, Cole said.
Gov. Turnbull called the special session on March 23 to fund a shortfall in the Government Insurance Fund. The bill was subsequently amended to transfer $250,000 from the V.I. Accountancy Special Fund for FY 2000 to the Government Insurance Fund, and to appropriate $3,028,983 to the Government Insurance Fund from any funds available in the V.I. treasury for FY 2000.
At the session, Finance Commissioner Turnbull said, "If the bill passes, checks will be cut tomorrow for workmen's compensation."
In his letter to the governor, Cole said the Finance commissioner told him that the Department of Labor had not submitted documents to her department. Neither the Department of Labor nor Finance returned calls Tuesday.
"Thus, a communication stalemate between both departments is causing desperate clients with mounting bills, many accumulating severe late charges, suffering and in a quandary," Cole wrote.
Cole said senators were told that enough money was in the insurance fund to pay claimants.
"If so sufficient funds were appropriated, then, why is there still an impasse on this issue?" he asked. "Governor Turnbull, it is imperative that you diffuse any underlying issues circumventing the efficient flow of information between the two departments."

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Two weeks after the Senate approved a bill that would fund worker’s compensation payments in the territory, Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole said he has being fielding complaints from people who still haven’t been paid.
At the special session, Labor Commissioner Sonia Jacobs-Dow and Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull openly disagreed on why payments hadn’t been processed in a timely fashion. In a letter to Gov. Charles Turnbull Tuesday, Cole said a "communication breakdown" is continuing between the two departments.
"The commissioner of Finance is saying the Department of Labor didn’t submit the documents and the Department of Labor is saying the opposite," Cole said on WSTX radio. "It still seems the stalemate is still going on."
And that is causing disgruntled constituents to call Cole’s office looking for their compensation payments. He said some people haven’t received checks for two or three months. One caller was in a nursing home in Florida getting charged extra for late payment, Cole said.
Gov. Turnbull called the special session on March 23 to fund a shortfall in the Government Insurance Fund. The bill was subsequently amended to transfer $250,000 from the V.I. Accountancy Special Fund for FY 2000 to the Government Insurance Fund, and to appropriate $3,028,983 to the Government Insurance Fund from any funds available in the V.I. treasury for FY 2000.
At the session, Finance Commissioner Turnbull said, "If the bill passes, checks will be cut tomorrow for workmen's compensation."
In his letter to the governor, Cole said the Finance commissioner told him that the Department of Labor had not submitted documents to her department. Neither the Department of Labor nor Finance returned calls Tuesday.
"Thus, a communication stalemate between both departments is causing desperate clients with mounting bills, many accumulating severe late charges, suffering and in a quandary," Cole wrote.
Cole said senators were told that enough money was in the insurance fund to pay claimants.
"If so sufficient funds were appropriated, then, why is there still an impasse on this issue?" he asked. "Governor Turnbull, it is imperative that you diffuse any underlying issues circumventing the efficient flow of information between the two departments."